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Facebook won’t tell you if your personal data were affected by a massive leak

The social media giant has no plans to inform hundreds of millions of users that their personal data were lost, once again calling the brand’s privacy policies into question.

The news agency Reuters has reported that social media giant Facebook has no plans to alert the 530 million users whose personal data were lost in a massive data leak that occurred before September 2019.

The data include phone numbers (though not financial information, health information or passwords), which were made available in a public database after ‘malicious actors’ had scraped users’ profiles for the information.

The decision not to notify users was apparently taken because users still could not fix the issue, the data was publicly available, and Facebook fixed the issue as soon as it was identified.

Read More: What the Tech: Facebook without news just proves that it’s worthless

Despite these qualifications, people will likely continue to be wary that Facebook is neither secure enough with handling its users’ personal data, nor sufficiently transparent about its shortcomings in this regard.

This scepticism was on full display recently when WhatsApp changed its terms of service, seeming to strengthen its ties to Facebook (which is the parent company of the messaging app). Million of users quit the service immediately after this announcement, causing Facebook to quickly clarify its intentions in an attempt to stem the tide of quitters.

Read More: Millions quit WhatsApp after changes to terms of service

In our poll pertaining to the news article, 75% of Recombu readers said that they had abandoned WhatsApp due to privacy concerns, as they “don’t trust Facebook”.

Whether this latest news about Facebook’s privacy shortcomings will further inflame these worries remains to be seen, but it can hardly have shored up confidence of the brand in the eyes of the public.

If you’re anxious to know whether your personal data have been compromised, a good place to check is the website Have I Been Pwned? which can confirm if your details have been publicly shared.


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